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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Sierra - Oscar
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (4)
Second Row - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (6) - Navy Expeditionary Medal (Iran/Indian Ocean) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row - Southwest Asia Service Medal (1) - Sea Service Deployment Ribbon - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

L. Y. Spear Class Submarine Tender:
  • Laid down, 5 May 1966, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 7 September 1967
  • Commissioned USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36), 28 February 1970
  • Decommissioned, 6 September 1996
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 3 May 1999
  • Planned title transfer to MARAD
  • Laid up at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Portsmouth, VA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 9 July 2010, to ESCO Marine, Brownsville, TX.
    Displacement 14,362 t.(lt) 23,396 t. (fl)
    Length 643'
    Beam 85'
    Draft 29'
    Speed 18.5 kts.
    Officers 87
    Enlisted 1,235
    Armament (As Built)
    two 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    four 50 cal machine guns
    two boilers
    one steam turbine
    single shaft

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    L Y Spear
    Lawrence York Spear (23 October 1879 - 9 September 1959) graduated second in his class at the Naval Academy in 1890. He served as an ensign in Pensacola, Baltimore (C-3), and Charleston (C-2) in the Atlantic and South Pacific for nearly 2 years. In 1891, due to his ability and enthusiasm in the project of modernizing the Navy, he was transferred to the Construction Corps and sent to the University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland. Returning with a B.S. in 1893, he spent most of the next 9 years acquiring construction experience in shipyards across the country. While Superintendent of Construction at Crescent Shipyard, Elizabethport, N.J., from 1898 to 1902, he helped build five Holland-designed submarines, first of the U.S. undersea fleet. In 1902, he resigned his commission as lieutenant to join the Electric Boat Co., successor to the Holland Torpedo Boat Co., founded by inventor John P. Holland. Spear then devoted more than 48 years to the construction of submarines. He is credited with six basic design concepts which are an integral part of all modern naval submarines, including double hull amidships, single hull ends, and propelling apparatus. His great faith in the importance of file submarine was more than justified by the decisive role the Navy's undersea fleet played in destroying the power of the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II. As company president, 1942 to 1947, he directed the production of more than half of the submarines completed during the war Spear retired in 1947 to serve as board chairman for the next 3 years, and died at Groton, Conn., 9 September 1950. (Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships)
    Tommy Trampp
    L Y Spear
    124k L. Y. Spear (AS-36), launching ceremony, 7 September General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA.
    General Dynamics photo GD PQ-566-1, now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    L Y Spear
    110k Ship's sponsor Mrs. Arnold F. Schade, wife of VADM Shade christens L. Y. Spear (AS-36) during the ship's launching, 7 September 1967, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA. Dale Hargrave
    L Y Spear
    45k Tugs move L. Y. Spear (AS-36) to her fitting out pier after launching, 7 September 1967, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA. Dale Hargrave
    L Y Spear 140k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) underway, circa 1971, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, October 1971
    Scott Koen
    L Y Spear
    254k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) underway, off Norfolk, VA. date unknown
    ©Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    L Y Spear 385k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    L Y Spear 242k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) moored at Pier 22, D&S piers, Naval Station, Norfolk VA., date unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Scott Koen
    L Y Spear 382k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) under way, date and location unknown. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    L Y Spear 205k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) moored at Pier 22, D&S piers, Naval Station, Norfolk VA., circa 1980-1981. Note that a portion of the 05 level forward was painted white to help with the heat problem in radio central. Rick Sherley
    L Y Spear 213k Bow and stern views of USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) in a two point moor in the lagoon at Diego Garcia British Indian Ocean Territory (B.I.O.T.) during her first deployment to Diego Garcia, circa spring 1980. Alongside to port is a 688 Los Angeles class submarine and a 637 Sturgeon class submarine and to starboard,USS Davidson (FF-1045) inboard with USS Truxtun (CGN-35) outboard. Note that by mooring Davidson inboard of Truxtun a lee was created that made for safer boat landings using Spear's after starboard accommodation ladder. The lagoon could get rough at times, causing small boat operations to be reduced or curtailed all together. Also note that it was Vertrep day for all units and one of the birds had landed briefly on Spear's helo deck. The surface ships normally rotated every 7 days and the subs every 30 days and there were no tugs then, just a very good CPO harbor/docking pilot. For this deployment Spear traveled a total of 20,000 miles and spent 97 days in the lagoon. Rick Sherley
    L Y Spear 348k
    Emory S Land
    279k USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) and and USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) at the Destroyer and Submarine Piers, Naval Station, Norfolk, VA., 3 November 1982.
    US National Archives Identifier 6371987 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Robert Hurst
    L Y Spear 171k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) underway, date and location unknown. Jerrod W. Brown SM1 (SW) USN Ret.
    L Y Spear 88k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) underway, date and location unknown. Jerrod W. Brown SM1 (SW) USN Ret.
    L Y Spear
    261k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) underway, off Norfolk, VA. date unknown
    ©Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    L Y Spear 110k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) NAV/OPS Div, circa 1984-85. (Jerrod Brown SM1 is second from left back row). Jerrod W. Brown SM1 (SW) USN Ret.
    L Y Spear 282k Photo of USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) as front cover for Submarine Squadron 6 Christmas Card, year unknown.
    Photo by PH1 David Lister and PH3 Joel M. Reines
    Jerrod W. Brown SM1 (SW) USN Ret.
    L Y Spear 51k USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36) and USS Farragut (DDG-37) undergoing overhauls at the Norfolk Dry Dock Co., on the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, VA., 14 June 1987.
    Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-87-08678, by Don S. Montgomery.
    Bill Gonyo

    For more photos and information about USS L.Y. Spear, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • USS L.Y. Spear Association (AS-36)
  • Submarine Tenders of the United States Navy
  • Christening Program contributed by S. Dale Hargrave
  • Welcome Aboard Pamphlet for New York City's Fleet Week 20 - 26 May 1992

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Ghormley, Ralph McDougall, USN (USNA 1949) :RADM28 February 1970 - 7 August 1971
    02CAPT. Donlon, John Michael, USN (USNA 1949)7 August 1971 - 30 May 1973
    03CAPT. Williams, Ross Norman, USN (USNA 1951) :RADM30 May 1973 - 13 May 1975
    04CAPT. Phoenix, David Albert, USN13 May 1975 - 13 May 1977
    05CAPT. Toupin Jr., Ernest Joseph, USN (USNA 1955)13 May 1977 - August 1979
    06CAPT. Kinert, John Henry (Jack), USN (USNA 1956)August 1979 - 4 September 1981
    07CAPT. Kelly Jr., Robert Francis, USN (USNA 1961)4 September 1981 - 12 August 1983
    08CAPT. Whelan Jr., John Francis, USN (USNA 1960)12 August 1983 - 22 June 1985
    09CAPT. Everman, Leon Ervin, USN (USNA 1960)22 June 1985 - 17 July 1987
    10CAPT. Parry Jr., Thomas Leighton17 July 1987 - 30 June 1989
    11CAPT. Ellis, Charles Eugene, USN30 June 1989 - 2 March 1991
    12CAPT. Cohen, Jay Martin, USN (USNA 1968) :RADM2 March 1991 - 17 April 1993
    13CAPT. Davis, Jack Michael17 April 1993 - 21 July 1995
    14CAPT. Ryan, Paul John, USN (USNA 1973) :RADM21 July 1995 - 28 May 1996
    15CAPT. Paulson, John James,USN (USNA 1971)28 May 1996 - 30 September 1996
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation

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    Last Updated 31 March 2023